This article looks at how to book Oman Air flights using frequent flyer miles.
Over the last few weeks we have been running a series of articles on my recent trip to Oman.
If you are not familiar with Oman you can read our overview here to set the scene.
My review of the Gulf Air lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 – which is the one used by Oman Air – is here. More importantly, my review of Oman Air’s very impressive First Class Suite is here. My hotel stay, at the Al Bustan Palace, is reviewed here. My review of the new Oman Air business class lounge in Muscat is here. Finally, my review of Oman Air business class is here.
How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles
If you want to try Oman Air‘s excellent product to Muscat, you don’t have many options if you want to use miles.
Oman Air is NOT in a major airline alliance. However, it does have one airline partnership which you can use – with Etihad Guest.
Here is the Oman Air redemption chart when you are paying with Etihad Guest miles – click here (PDF).
Scroll down to Muscat-London and you see:
Economy – 22,000 Etihad Guest miles each way
Business – 44,000 Etihad Guest miles each way
First – 80,000 Etihad Guest miles each way (but see below)
The new-ish Manchester route is not listed. I’m not sure if that means it can’t be booked or if Etihad Guest has not got round to updating its list yet.
But there is a snag ….
At some pont in recent months, Etihad Guest has stopped you being able to book Oman Air First Class.
I found a report online of it being bookable back in January. However, two HFP readers have individually contacted me in recent weeks to say that it cannot be done any longer. (Yes, they did hang up and call again … with the same result.)
So …. you need to ignore the reward chart on the Etihad Guest website. You can’t book First Class.
The good news ….
Business Class IS still bookable with Etihad Guest miles.
Two Business Class seats are released per flight. Availability for Etihad Guest miles matches that shown on the Oman Air website if you create a Sinbad frequent flyer account and search for seats.
The taxes and charges for Business Class are around £325 return, which is excellent value compared to British Airways business class redemptions.
Amusingly, it is substantially cheaper to redeem Etihad Guest miles for a Business Class seat on Oman Air to Muscat (88,000 miles return) than to book on Etihad itself to Abu Dhabi (roughly 125,000 miles return)!
It is also substantially cheaper than using Avios on British Airways, which costs 100,000 Avios off-peak or 120,000 Avios peak plus £500+ of taxes and charges.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles
If you don’t fly Etihad or its partners on a regular basis, the only way to get hold of the miles you need for this trip is via a points conversion.
Etihad Guest is a partner with all of the major hotel schemes. It is no longer a partner with Heathrow Rewards, however.
Looking at the credit card options, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
American Express Rewards credit card – 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.
Thanks to Rich and Simon for their help with this.
(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards? Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)